Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Involuntary subjection to second-hand smoke

There are some things that I find frustrating about living in an apartment.

I think it has the most to do with the lack of control we have over our circumstances. We can't control our neighbor, who insists on smoking under our windows and talks loudly on her cell phone under the same windows during nap time. It took multiple appeals to get her to confine her smoking to one side of the building after explaining that we don't want our infant exposed to second-hand smoke. We didn't even mention the fact that I have asthma and my husband has a severe sensitivity to cigarette smoke! But of course she's not going to smoke inside her own apartment because her husband wouldn't like that. Better to pollute everyone else's air than face the fact that she has a disgusting habit that is compromising her health and the health of everyone around her and actually quit, right?

I'm sorry...but I'm not. There are few "bad habits" that I find so revolting as smoking. Why? Because most bad or unhealthy habits harm only yourself. You, and maybe your family, are the only ones to deal with the negative consequences of your habit. But smoking subjects everyone around you to significant health damage. And we don't always have the choice to just walk away from you. If we live above your unit, and you insist on smoking under our windows, we cannot get away from you! And I do not appreciate you rolling your eyes and arguing with me when I explain that second-hand smoke has severe health risks for infants including asthma, respiratory disease, and SIDS, among others.

Personally, I think it should only be legal to smoke if you have a house that is, say, 100 ft from the next house, where you have your own air space and will not be foisting it on others who have no choice but to share your air. It's the most basic respect you should have for your neighbors!

Ok, I guess that's really the only thing I find frustrating about being in an apartment. Well, that and the near-incompetence of our maintenance guys. But most other things, like the lack of space, I can deal with. I'm expecting that we should be in a house within the year, though. I'm sure that will come with its own issues, but at least if my neighbor is loitering under my windows, I can call the cops.

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